As the one generation looks to retire while the other is soon to be at its peak earning potential, the opinions and approaches to the property market differ markedly between Gen Y and Baby Boomers.

Place Advisory’s Lachlan Walker says the two generations prefer different types of property and have different reasons for entering the property market.

Walker says that Baby Boomers, unlike their Gen X and Y proponents, tend to have married in their early 20s and subsequently became home owners early.

Born between 1946 and 1965, boomers are the richest generation, having cashed in on several property booms. They hold over half Australia’s housing and financial assets.

Gen Y, which encompasses those born between 1981 and 1995, are nowhere near as asset rich.

“As travel is now more affordable and desirable, this demographic is often choosing to spend their money on seeing the world rather than being tied down to a mortgage,” Walker says.

“While this generation is often referred to as ‘Generation Rent’, this isn’t necessarily to do with affordability… they like the flexibility that comes with renting.”

Walker adds that Gen Ys favour apartments.

“Many Gen Ys who choose to buy into property are using it as an investment vehicle,” says Walker. “Data shows that 52% of Gen Y buyers surveyed are planning to buy an investment property instead of a home to live in during the next 12 months.”

In contrast, Baby Boomers are generally looking for a home. They may also be increasingly trending towards apartments, but want larger units with quality fittings and finishes.

“With more disposable income due to their children having moved out of home, Baby Boomers are looking to buy apartments within close proximity of entertainment and dining precincts.

“They want the three A’s – action, accessibility and amenity – rather than the three traditional P’s – product, price and position.”